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Steve Jobs
 
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Steve Jobs [Kindle Edition]

Walter Isaacson
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)

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Review

“. . . a wonderfully robust biography that not only tracks Jobs’ life but also serves as a history of digital technology. What makes the book come alive, though, is Isaacson’s ability to shape the story as a kind of archetypal fantasy: the flawed hero, the noble quest, the holy grail, the death of the king.” — starred, Booklist “Isaacson’s exhaustively researched but well-paced, candid and gripping narrative gives us a great warts-and-all portrait of an entrepreneurial spirit – and one of the best accounts yet of the human side of the computer biz.” — Publishers Weekly

Product Description

FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE BESTSELLING BIOGRAPHIES OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN AND ALBERT EINSTEIN, THIS IS THE EXCLUSIVE BIOGRAPHY OF STEVE JOBS.

Based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.

At a time when America is seeking ways to sustain its innovative edge, and when societies around the world are trying to build digital-age economies, Jobs stands as the ultimate icon of inventiveness and applied imagination. He knew that the best way to create value in the twenty-first century was to connect creativity with technology. He built a company where leaps of the imagination were combined with remarkable feats of engineering.  

Although Jobs cooperated with this book, he asked for no control over what was written nor even the right to read it before it was published. He put nothing off-limits. He encouraged the people he knew to speak honestly. And Jobs speaks candidly, sometimes brutally so, about the people he worked with and competed against. His friends, foes, and colleagues provide an unvarnished view of the passions, perfectionism, obsessions, artistry, devilry, and compulsion for control that shaped his approach to business and the innovative products that resulted.

Driven by demons, Jobs could drive those around him to fury and despair. But his personality and products were interrelated, just as Apple’s hardware and software tended to be, as if part of an integrated system. His tale is instructive and cautionary, filled with lessons about innovation, character, leadership, and values.

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Most helpful customer reviews
103 of 117 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars We Did It My Way Oct. 26 2011
By L. Power HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
If you're like me the first thing that strikes in reading this book is how mythological it is.

Put up for closed adoption by unmarried parents who eventually married, rejected by the first would be adoptive parents, then adopted by working class parents, it would be difficult to imagine a more inauspicious beginning, or a more auspicious outcome. Steve Jobs would grow up to prove that an apple can fall quite far from the tree, and still blossom. Abandoned, the chosen one, special.

Firstly, I don't think there is any such thing as an illegitimate child, only illegitimate parents.

The public life and business achievements have been well chronicled, and I didn't want to read a book about Apple. I wondered about the family life, the relationship with Bill Gates, were they collaborators or competitors, some of the other cast of characters. I wondered how much of Apple's great accomplishments were due to Jobs, what effect his passing would have on the future of Apple. I wondered about how he got the Beatles music, and the reputedly fractious relationship with Apple records.

Isaacson has put together a narrative never less than fascinating about a mercurial man. My opinion of Jobs did not change as a result of reading this book. He already struck me as being a highly driven type A personality, narcissistic, aggressive, perfectionistic. Certainly these traits contributed to both his successes and his setbacks, and made him a difficult man to get along with, but those high standards imposed by a drive for perfection, and a demanding lack of compassion, would also draw out of people abilities, creativity, and great accomplishments.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most Inspiring Read! March 22 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I already knew a fair bit about jobs but this book is a true biography of a true legend. His story had to be documented and documented well. I am glad Walter Isaacson wrote this book. I doubt anyone else could have told the story in a better way. It does not try to sugarcoat Jobs' personality and takes you on a journey through a brilliant yet crazy mind of Jobs. Oscar Levant once said 'There is a thin line between genius and insanity'. Nothing personifies jobs better.

Any person in business must read this book. The most successful CEO of all times - this is a story of how self-belief, tenacity and iron-will can change the impossible into possible. Focus and follow your vision rest is mere distraction. If you are sane enough you'll disapprove of him, if you are crazy enough, you'll understand him. Here's to the crazies...
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insanely great! Nov. 15 2011
Format:Hardcover
This book is highly detailed because the writer did over 200 interviews with Steve Jobs, I would strongly recommend this book to people who enjoy biographies and non-fiction books!
Its insanely great!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Completely misses the boat about the key influence of psychedelics on Steve Jobs! A failure to manifest journalistic curiosity about the central source of creative motivation in Jobs' life. Steve himself claimed that those who had not taken LSD would never understand him. Maybe Walter Isaacson didn't, but then what possessed Jobs to choose him as a biographer?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Insanely Great Read Aug. 24 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I give this 5 Stars because I couldn't put it down: it was very, very well presented & it grants the reader a glimpse inside the esoteric processes of creating those 'dents in the universe' that define Steve Jobs.

There are, however, missing pieces...for example, I get the sense that I got to know Steve the business man but barely penetrate Steve the human. I attribute this to Steve himself, I see his desire to keep our 'fingers out of his machines' as a reflection of his own guarded inner life.

Issacson did do a great job of skimming the surface of Jobs the human. Maybe one day in the future we will find out more about this man's inner life.

A remarkable & inspiring read. Much like the subject himself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Biography of Steve Jobs June 8 2013
By Ian Robertson TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
The best biographies plunge us into the life and times of the subject with the page-turning aspects of a novel. They convey the facts of a subject’s life in a compelling narrative, and with extraordinarily famous people, in such a way that we hardly notice we already know many of the details.

Steve Jobs is very much one of those extraordinarily famous people. We already know much of the chronology and the accomplishments of his life, and from media we already have a strong sense of his personality. All the more remarkable then, that noted biographer Walter Isaacson has delivered such a fascinating, compelling and moving portrait.

Jobs asked Isaacson to write the book - he had already written excellent biographies on Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, and Henry Kissinger - and Isaacson has used his considerable biographical skills to produce a fascinating, compelling and moving picture. Unlike many authorized biographies it faced no revisions or restrictions by Mr. Jobs. What you see is what you get, and what you get is a truly remarkable tale of a truly remarkable visionary, innovator, and business leader.

The book unfolds chronologically, and from an early age Jobs is shown to have smarts, moxy, and unusual personality traits. His string of business successes (Apple, NeXT, Pixar), and his string of product successes (MacIntosh, iMac, iTunes, iPod, iPhone, iPad) is legendary, but only time will tell if he accomplished his primary goal - to build a company that would last, a company that would reinvent itself and remain an innovative leader.

Jobs’ odd traits permeate the pages, but Isaacson is non-judgemental, and the book never descends into the voyeuristic sideshow that is a hallmark of so many lesser biographers.
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